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The Kent landmarks that could be lost to rising sea levels by 2050 including Dreamland, Port of Dover and Chatham Dockyard


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Some of Kent's most beloved landmarks could succumb to rising sea levels over the next 30 years, according to scientists.

Harrowing maps depict what the landscape may look like in 2050 as climate change continues to pose a global threat.

Rising sea levels and flooding are predicted to batter Kent over the next 30 years if action isn't taken. Picture: James Bell
Rising sea levels and flooding are predicted to batter Kent over the next 30 years if action isn't taken. Picture: James Bell

Some of the county's attractions in danger of being completely submerged were built as long ago as the 12th century.

Over the decades there have been campaigns across the county to cut carbon emissions in a bid to tackle climate change.

But researchers at Climate Central fear if action is not taken soon, several areas of the Kent coast are at risk of flooding over the next 30 years.

The independent organisation has created a map that reveals the extent of the damage that could be caused. Here we take a look at some of the iconic landmarks it says are at risk of being lost forever...

Reculver Towers

Reculver Towers and its car park on Easter Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey
Reculver Towers and its car park on Easter Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey

The twin towers at Reculver, near Herne Bay, have been an imposing sight along the coast since medieval times - but in 30 years they could be gone, the scientists fear.

This was once the site of a 3rd Century Roman stronghold which was part of the chain of Saxon Shore forts to defend against raids. The southern half still survives today as walls and earthworks.

After being abandoned by the Romans, it became home to an Anglo-Saxon monastery in the 7th Century.

It later became the parish church of Reculver and the tall twin towers were installed in the 1100s.

A lot of the church was demolished in the 1800s - but thankfully the towers we know and love today were left.

How Reculver could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central
How Reculver could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central

However, in 2050 the site - as well as a lot of the village - could be lost as predictions reveal a bleak future.

Dreamland's Scenic Railway

The beloved Margate rollercoaster, world famous for being the oldest in the UK, is said to be at risk.

Dreamland’s lengthy history goes back to 1863, when catering company Spiers and Pond opened The Hall by the Sea.

Years later, owner George Sanger decided to add to the dance hall and restaurant, building a pleasure garden complete with a lake and circus animals to attract more visitors.

Dreamland's scenic railway is at risk - pictured here in the 50s
Dreamland's scenic railway is at risk - pictured here in the 50s

In 1911 Sanger died under mysterious circumstances, which led John Iles to purchase the site in 1919.

Mr Iles named it Dreamland and began the construction of rides including the Scenic Railway.

In 1920, the first year the park opened under the new name, the wooden ride carried visitors for the first time.

It has survived blazes in 1949 and 1957, but in 2008 a suspected arson attack destroyed almost half of the structure.

Thankfully, the ride was rebuilt before the park's grand reopening in 2015.

How Margate could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central
How Margate could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central

But now both the Scenic Railway and Dreamland face being wiped out by floods over the next decades, according to Climate Central.

Turner Contemporary

Many have been sceptical of placing precious art near the sea - and it is predicted their fears could become a reality.

The Turner Contemporary in Margate is named after artist JMW Turner, who visited the town throughout his life.

Opened in 2011 by Jools Holland Tracey Emin, the £17 million gallery has been credited with sparking the regeneration of the the town.

The Turner Contemporary could be lost. Picture: Carlos Dominguez
The Turner Contemporary could be lost. Picture: Carlos Dominguez

The new £20 note that came into circulation this year, featuring JMW Turner, has a large see-through "window" featuring the gallery and the Margate lighthouse.

It is reportedly the first contemporary building to feature on a UK bank note.

But the recently-built project is another Margate attraction that could soon fall victim to the sea - as Climate Central's map reveals the town's seafront could be lost.

Eastgate House

Eastgate House in Rochester - which became the model for Westgate House in Charles' Dickens Pickwick Papers - is another iconic building said to be at risk of being battered by rising sea levels.

Eastgate House is loved by locals and tourists in Rochester. Picture: Steve Crispe
Eastgate House is loved by locals and tourists in Rochester. Picture: Steve Crispe

This would also result in the loss of the author's Swiss Chalet, found in the gardens of the property.

A present from his French actor friend Charles Fechter, the chalet arrived at Higham Railway Station on Christmas Eve 1864, packed in 58 boxes.

It used to be in Dickens' garden in Higham, in a part known as The Wilderness and was where he worked on many of his novels and rehearsed for many public appearances.

The chalet was later moved to Cobham and finally to Eastgate House in 1960.

The building is Grade I-listed and is one of the most distinctive sights Rochester high street has to offer.

It is steeped in history, having been a hostel, boarding school and museum - and is enjoyed by residents and tourists alike after being refurbished.

How Rochester could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central
How Rochester could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central

But according to the predictions of the climate change experts, the future of the site looks uncertain.

Chatham Historic Dockyard

The maritime museum on part of the site of the former naval dockyard is at risk of being wiped out, the scientists fear.

Chatham Historic Dockyard has been used as a location for blockbuster movies in recent years - including Les Misérables, Great Expectations and Sherlock Holmes.

The Fitted Rigging House at the Historic Dockyard Chatham
The Fitted Rigging House at the Historic Dockyard Chatham

For 414 years the docks provided more than 500 ships for what became the world's most powerful fleet before it closed for good in 1984 - leaving thousands unemployed.

It was at the forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology, employing more than 10,000 skilled artisans and covering a 400-acre site.

At the Historic Dockyard the work goes on to preserve the memory of those who helped forge Britain's supremacy on the sevens seas.

The site is home to warships including HMS Gannet, HMS Cavalier and HMS Ocelot.

But there are concerns this historic site could be lost to the sea.

Shepherd Neame Brewery

The Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham
The Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham

Beer produced by the Faversham brewery, founded in 1698, is enjoyed by people across the world - but experts fear it could be submerged by rising sea levels within 30 years.

Shepherd Neame owns more than 300 pubs and hotels across Kent and the south east, and is one of the county's largest operators.

It has been producing beer in the town for more than 300 years and contributes a huge amount to the local economy.

The site has been turned into a tourist attraction - offering guided tours for people to learn about the ancient art of brewing.

A project to restore the historic brewery to its original grandeur was carried out a few years back.

How Faversham could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central
How Faversham could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central

More than 300 years since Britain’s oldest brewery created its first beer, the Grade II-listed site is undergoing its biggest-ever facelift.

But due to its location close to Faversham Creek, predictions by Climate Central look bleak.

Large chunks of the town along with neighbouring Graveney and Sittingbourne could be engulfed.

Deal Castle

Deal Castle was built in about 1540 on the orders of Henry VIII to be used as an artillery fortress to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire.

But it the coastal defence faces an unstoppable enemy in the form of rising sea levels, according to the researchers.

Deal Castle attracts thousands of visitors each year
Deal Castle attracts thousands of visitors each year

It was dramatically seized during the Second English Civil War by Royalists - but was reclaimed by Parliamentary forces months later.

The castle was no longer considered to be of use as a defensive site by 1904 and was opened to the public when it was not used as a private house for its captain.

German bombers destroyed the captain's quarters in the Second World War and was not restored until the 1950s.

It then became a tourist attraction which brings in thousands of visitors a year and is run by English Heritage.

But just yards from the seafront, it could be lost forever as a result of climate change.

Port of Dover

Rising sea levels pose a risk to the Port of Dover
Rising sea levels pose a risk to the Port of Dover

The threat of climate change to this coastal town will impact one of the busiest passenger ports in the world - with millions travelling through on ferries each year.

The Port of Dover is Europe's busiest, handling £119 billion of trade or 17% of the UK's trade - handling up to 160km of freight in a single day.

It is also home to various historic buildings protected by English Heritage.

The most important are based in the Western Docks, including the Marine Station building - the site of Cruise Terminal 1.

The loss of the port would have an enormous impact on trade and the tourism industry in Kent if Climate Central's predictions become a reality.

How Dover could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central
How Dover could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central

Whitstable Harbour

For many, Whitstable Harbour is the place to be in the warmer seasons - but experts fear the tourist hotspot could be lost to rising sea levels come 2050.

Today, people flock to the area to shop at the street vendors, visit the fish market to grab some fresh seafood and relax watching the boats.

It is also at the centre of Harbour Day - celebrated in the summer - which attracts thousands of people to the town.

But like a lot of Whitstable's seafront, Climate Central's map shows it is at risk of being swamped.

How Whitstable could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central
How Whitstable could look by 2050. Picture: Climate Central

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